How do you network effectively? This post will show you how to get started.

These days when you see the word networking, you undoubtedly subconsciously add the word “social” in front of it and start thinking of your next Facebook post or looking for tips on how to build your Twitter follower-ship.

It’s a normal thing to do—as a blogger you spend most of your time connected to the Internet.

It’s easy to forget that there’s a whole wide and tangible word out there that you are a part of.

Finding networking opportunities as a blogger can be tough.

You don’t quite feel at home at local business events (explaining blogging to a brick and mortar store owner is tough on a good day).

Here are some things that you can do to network and both build your audience and, with any luck, your business network as well.

1. Always Be Prepared

You do have business cards, right? No? You need to get some. Depending upon your target audience you might also want to print up some buttons and stickers to hand out as well.

You never know when you’ll run into someone who would benefit from your blog and you want to give them something tangible that they can use to remind themselves to check you out.

Yes, you’ll have to pay money for these things but that’s what your credit card is for, right?

Note: It’s understandable that you might not want to rely upon your credit card for a lot. After all, going into debt is nobody’s idea of a good time.

As long as you manage your credit responsibly, though, using your credit cards actually work in your favor.

2. Attend Blogging and Internet Related Conferences    blogworld expo

BlogHer is a big one (yes, men are welcome there too).

E3, SXSW, GenCon, and any conferences that happen within your niche are definitely worth your time.

For instance, if you blog primarily about gaming topics, you’ll want to wrangle a PAX Pass.

Conferences are great places to meet people who are into the same things you’re into.

They also provide you with opportunities to learn and form mutually beneficial business relationships.

These conferences can be expensive to attend—between passes, hotel rooms and transportation (especially if you have to fly) you might have to shell out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

This is where that credit card (especially if you’ve signed up for the best airline reward credit cards) comes in handy. What’s more, if you earn money via your blog, these conferences sometimes qualify as tax deductions.

3. Get Over Your Ego

Attending meetings of your local Chamber of Commerce probably seems provincial for a blogger.

The truth is, that going to these meetings and networking events helps you cement your place in your local business community.

Local audiences are incredibly loyal audiences and are likely to buy the things you’re selling (even if it is just advertising space) simply because they know you. Even better, most of these events are free!

These are just three of the ways you can do in-person networking as a blogger. What are some of the others you’ve tried?